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Ensure accountability of donors to make foreign aid effective, Development experts tell seminar

By voice - Posted on 10 September 2007

September 10, 2007

Staff Correspondent - Daily Star Metropolitan

Development experts at a seminar yesterday called for ensuring accountability of the donor agencies and cutting their dominance over the developing nations to enhance effectiveness of foreign aid in promoting development and ensuring human rights.
Experiences suggest that various conditions and dominance of the donors often have adverse effects on the development process in the developing nations, they added.
The observations came at a national seminar on 'Aid effectiveness and role of civil societies (CSOs)' organised jointly by Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment (Voice) and Reality of Aid Network at the National Press Club in the city.

VOICE publishes 'A Manual on Economic Literacy'

By voice - Posted on 30 June 2007

In this training manual, Voice Bangladesh stresses that "economic literacy" is a prerequisite to conceptualize, understand, and fight for "economic justice". This manual could benefit NGO workers in the field, farmers, coordinators, political activists, students, and professionals at a local and national level.

It discusses issues related to the market, the fiscal year, wage, multinational companies, colonization, globalization, foreign aid, and donor agencies. Besides introducing these terms, the manual explains how corporate groups have invaded the market of developing countries and create an unjust economic order. Rich countries and multinational corporations are making profit by exploiting the markets of poor nations and brushing away the potential for small entrepreneurs.
Similarly, trade liberalization has inspired privatization which resulted in the governments of poor countries loosing control over their market and their people. It also depicts the policies of the major International Financial Institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Trade Organizations (WTO).

Budget lacks political vision

By voice - Posted on 12 June 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Staff Correspondent - New Age

Economists, academics and activists said the proposed budget lacks political vision and was biased towards the primacy of the private sector as there is nothing new other than changes of a few figures for different sectors.
They made the observations at a seminar on budget, trade and investment, held on Monday. They also pointed out that the budget was based on the World Bank prescribed poverty reduction strategy paper, which is actually structural adjustment plan in another guise.

Creation of jobs should be main focus of budget, Speakers say at discussion

By voice - Posted on 12 June 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Unb, Dhaka - Daily Star

Speakers at a discussion yesterday stressed the need for creating job opportunities to millions of unemployed should be the main focus of the national budget to alleviate poverty.
Prof. Salimullah Khan said deficit budget is usual in developing countries. But creation of job opportunities should be the main objective of the national budget of Bangladesh.
Prof M M Akash of Dhaka University said inequality in the society remains the fundamental problem. Removal of inequality will automatically reduce poverty.
Some 60 per cent of the people are landless peasants, has little scope of earning. The number is gradually increasing, said Akash while taking part in the discussion on "Dreaming of A Self-reliant Bangladesh: Trade, Investment and Budget" at Jatiya Press Club.

Call for protection of local industries

By voice - Posted on 29 March 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007
New Age Desk

Speakers at a workshop on World Trade Organisation Tuesday stressed the need for giving the highest priority to protect the local industry from the onslaught of the globalisation, says a press release.
The workshop was jointly organised in Rajshahi by Voice, a local non-government organisation to create awareness among the journalists of Northern region on the pros and cons of the trade liberalisation pursued by the WTO.

Water Crisis and the Future of the Water System in Bangladesh

By voice - Posted on 24 December 2006

VOICE  conducted a critical and analytical review on the state of the water system in Bangladesh entitled ‘Water Crisis : Strategies for Bangladesh Water Future’ in 2006. The objectives of the study were to critically analyze the overall water situation and build up linkages between the policies and projects based on the theory and practices on the ground. The analysis dealt with the perspective of Bangladesh and identified the problems of the sector, and prepared a set of recommendations for future strategies to further work on the issue.

The study revealed the impacts of water projects and dams, irrigation, and also looked into the issues around water and national policy conflicts, poor people’s access to water, and the crisis people in general are facing. While people’s resistance movements are growing, we must demand safer water and a better system of water management to ensure access to water through a rights based approach.

The study has identified some of the major aspects in the water sector and analyzed where and why water issues become prevalent. It also analyzed the Khulna-Jessore Drainage Rehabilitation Project with a view to giving a voice to the local stakeholders in the whole cycle of the project.

Mobilizing Civil and Political Society to Resist Bilateral & Multilateral Policy Impositions

By voice - Posted on 15 November 2006

Ahmed Swapan Mahmud

The Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) meeting held each year which determines the policy guidelines for the development of Bangladesh. In fact, in last three decades, in the name of development the international financial institutions and the corporate agencies of rich countries also determine their aid policy for county’s development. But if we keenly observe, we see those institutions mainly got the benefit though the policies are supposed to improve the socio-economic status of the country. In fact, the poverty reduction rate is not satisfactory which is below one per cent, though both foreign aid and loan are gradually increasing. Reality is that unexpectedly, themajority of people still remain under poverty line.


MDG framed not for development, Speakers tell at dialogue

By voice - Posted on 06 September 2006

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Staff Correspondent - Daily Star

The conception of global partnership is a master-slave relationship, a hoax and illusion in the name of development that is gradually crippling the country, said the speakers at a dialogue yesterday.
The dialogue styled 'Political economy of aid challenging conditionalities' was organised by Voices of Interactive Choice and Empowerment (Voice) at the National Press Club.
"Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is not framed for development, rather it has become a tool for trade on development issues and incurring poverty", Dr Salimullah Khan, an eminent researcher, said, adding this is high time that the WB and IMF should be withdrawn and the nation has to give hard thought to alternatives. He castigated the economists who failed to frame a befitting development policy for the country.

"People of Bangladesh are made more indebted due to WB and IMF projects making them more vulnerable. But the horse of Troy remains hidden and those who own fatty lives must be detected," he urged.

Dialogue criticises IFIs for ‘aid business’

By voice - Posted on 06 September 2006

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Tanim Ahmed - New Age

Loans and grants of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other international financial institutions are counter-productive for Bangladesh.
Politicians and activists also said the multilateral lending agencies take away more in kickbacks than what they give in loans.
They made the observations at a dialogue on the political economy of aid and its contingent conditions organised by non-governmental organisation Voice in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The Workers Party of Bangladesh general secretary, Saiful Huq, said although poverty had reportedly decreased in Bangladesh, inequality continued to increase. ‘It only means that the poorest sections are becoming poorer.’


Donors interfere in national policies, Says alliance of NGOs

By voice - Posted on 20 August 2006

August 20, 2006

Star Business Report

Alliance for Economic Justice Bangladesh (AEJB) yesterday blasted World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) for interfering in the country's policy formulation and making wrong prescriptions for the development programmes.
"The projects that were implemented on the prescriptions of the WB and IMF have mounted sufferings of the people in most cases," said Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of Voice, a member organisation of the AEJB, at a press briefing at Dhaka Reporters Unity auditorium in the city.
Citing the example of poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP), he explained people's aspiration has not been reflected in the PRSP because it was prepared without the participation of the people.
These international institutions are also interfering in the process of formulating national policies, including political structure, and their conditions, contrary to the national interests, are protecting the interests of the multinational companies, he alleged.